As of today, BBC News has reported that Antarctica is melting, and NASA has revealed that the carbon dioxide levels in the air are at their highest in 650,000 years. Climate change is not a single country’s concern, but it is a worldwide issue. As the world gathers to find solutions to fight climate change, the fact that majority of the world’s population relies heavily on the natural resources that elevates the condition of climate change is still a lingering concern. We have to be strategic moving forward.
NJ Ayuk, an oil and gas expert has also talked about the dependency on oil and gas, and how valuable it is in every country, but in Africa which is still developing in economics—the country must first establish oil and gas related wealth; and use it to create a transition that moves away from using natural resources that play a significant role in climate change. In a recent article by Ayuk, he addresses the steps to transitioning away from the use of oil and gas:
“Africa’s time to grow and develop is finally here, and it will be funded by its natural resources. Misguided moral lessons from the West will do little to change that because the financial resources coming from these activities are crucial and irreplaceable. In a somewhat ironic way, even if Africa wanted to stop using fossil fuels and shifted every power station to renewable sources, it would still be forced to develop its oil and gas fields in order to fund that transition.” Says Ayuk.
NJ Ayuk advocates for the economic development of Africa. He informs us that Africa is well on their way to producing sustainability and environmental protection, but it must be done intelligently:
“There is no point in promoting radical approaches to the energy transition, particularly for Africa. A balanced manageable and well-lead approach of progressive transitioning combining hydrocarbons and renewable energy development alongside strong environmental protection policies in the sector is the option that is not only realistic, but that will allow to combine economic growth and environmental sustainability.“
There is a promising method that points to the use of renewable energy sources that can contribute to and help power Africa. NJ Ayuk shares an example of how oil and gas can later finance renewables:
Yes, renewable energy sources can have a role in contributing to expand electrification in Africa, and solar and wind power have become competitive when compared to carbon-based generation, but that will always depend on the resources available in each region and will always have to be supported by other forms of generation capacity that can overcome the issue of intermittency that follows renewable power generation.
This is already happening. Kenya, for instance, is one of the world’s leading nations in terms of the share of its energy matrix coming from renewables, on its way to reach 100% in the coming years, but it also holds some of the world’s largest geothermal energy reserves, and it will continue to develop its oil reserves because it needs the money to fund economic development.
NJ Ayuk is a lawyer and the CEO of Centurion Law Group. He is a best-selling author of two books pertaining to the oil and gas sector. Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals is the author’s latest novel.